Decline in Youth Football Participation Discovered Nationwide and Locally

US & World News

A recent Daily Herald and Chicago Sun-Times analysis of school records showed that the number of athletes participating in football at 87 suburban high schools dropped 18.7 percent over the past decade. Local participation at the sophomore and freshman levels experience an even sharper decline since 2008, according to the analysis.

Fox News Denver on September 26, 2017 reported a study showing that football participation peaked in 2008-09 with 1.14 million boys playing high school football. In 2016-17, the total was 1.09 million.

A look at a 2016 to 2017 comparison showed that the percentage of high school boys playing football also declined, from 13.2 percent in 2012-13 to 12.7 percent. More than 25,000 fewer high school boys played football in 2017 compared to 2016.

University of Colorado Boulder professor and Director of the Center for Sports Governance at University of Colorado Boulder Roger Pielke noted, “From 1990 to 2009, it was a steady increase. Football was getting more and more participants and was the king of sports,” Pielke attributes a big portion of the decline to parental concern about concussions, but said the national declines documented in the analysis are small and overall, “the football pipeline remains healthy.”





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Today: Sunny, with a high near 79. South wind 5 to 15 mph.

Tonight: Patchy fog after 4am. Otherwise, clear, with a low around 57. South southeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

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